Covered Bridge 4
Using fresh hops from our backyard and Arklow Farm in Perth, this black IPA is the best of local.
Arklow Farm has been in continuous operation for over 200 years, starting in the early 1800s. In the early 1900s it was part of a national network of experimental farms producing certified barley and agricultural conservation techniques. Today it is a member of the Ontario Hop Growers Association, continuing its agricultural tradition by producing high quality, organic hops.
We feel fortunate to have worked with both these businesses to produce this dark, malty IPA that is our take on a hauntingly good harvest ale.
Wiches brew is available at the brewery in Growlers (1.89l/64 oz) and Half Growlers (0.95l/32oz).
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Covered Bridge Brewing Company's Seoirse the Great.
I'm not a big Irish Red drinker. In fact, I think the only other Irish Reds I've had have been from macro breweries and may have contributed towards my dislike of Irish Reds. Then comes Covered Bridge Brewing Company's Seoirse the Great, a darker version with 6% ABV and a lot more going on in the glass.
Seoirse the Great poured dark copper with ruby highlights and fizzy head that didn't stick around. The aroma was full on sweet with toffee, raisins and not a hint of hops. The flavour was more of the sweet toffee with dark fruits and a subtle dry roast grain finish. This is a smooth sipper with low carbonation which helps highlight the malt sweetness and slight alcohol warmth in every sip.
Overally I enjoyed the beer, but this is definitely for someone who's palate sits on the sweeter side.
So far I've been a big fan of the beer that John vanDyk has been producing at Covered Bridge Brewing in Stittsville and his latest Seoirse the Great, an Irish red brewed in memory of his grandfather has followed this trend.
At first when I poured mine I thought the bottles had gotten mixed up as it's on the darker scale for color, pouring pitch black, but it has a tinge of red when held up to the light.
The caramel malt aroma grabbed my attention right away and continued in the flavour along with some sweet and rich toffee notes. At first sip I thought I was getting some hop bitterness on the finish but once I explored the beer a bit more I realized it was the flavour of the dark roasted grains coming through.
Overall a really great choice for a fall beer with a reasonable ABV of 6%. If you like a beer with a spotlight on sweet malts and a dry roasted finish this is the beer for you!
Last week Covered Bridge Brewing Company, located in Stittsville, released Seoirse the Great, an Irish Red brewed in memory of brewer/owner John vanDyk’s grandfather who passed away shortly before the brewery opened. When asked about his grandfather John says, "He taught me so much and was always supportive of me, even when I told him about our crazy idea of opening a brewery."
The 6% ABV, 22 IBU is described as follows:
This ruby toned Irish Red ale is medium bodied with a toffee-like maltiness. Lightly hopped, this beer finishes with a light taste of roasted grain and dark caramel sweetness. Perfect for the crisp days and cool nights of autumn.
This special release is available at the brewery in Growlers (1.89l/64 oz) and Half Growlers (0.95l/32oz).
A harvest ale is not a defined style or class of beer, but rather a marketing term and common name for many different beers. The tagline generally refers to beers being brewed for Fall harvests. This most commonly refers to the hop harvest but can also be connected with grain harvest, Oktoberfest, or as a general term for Fall seasonal beers.
A few of the local Ottawa breweries have harvest ales on tap this season and we've rounded up a to-drink list for you:
The Land Is Strong, wet-hopped Belgian IPA is the first edition in the Dominion City Terroir Series. Every beer in the series will feature a different regionally-sourced ingredient; in this case, fresh-picked Cascade hops from Lot 17 Hop Yard in Campbellford, ON.
Josh McJannett, one of Dominion City’s brewers tells us that a few weeks back a crew from Dominion City and the Ottawa Beer Club made the trek to the hop yard and drove 80lbs of fresh Cascade cones back to the brewery the same day. "We finished our batch and the results are really exciting. The beer balances banana and clove Belgian character against sticky, malty goodness. It's topped with fresh hop aroma that you can only get from wet hops."
Drink Me Now is a Community Grow Hop brew. The 6.7% ABV, 50 IBU Harvest Ale was brewed with the harvest from 50 hop rhizomes grown in the community and a portion picked at Bristol Hopyard in Pontiac County
Manotick Harvest Ale is a 5.6% abv pale ale made using freshly picked hops grown by Big Rig co-owner and Ottawa Senators defence man, Chris Phillips, on his property in nearby Manotick.
Isidore's Harvest Ale is wet hopped with Cascade hops from Bédard-Brunet hop farm in St. Isidore.
Märzen is the traditional Oktoberfest style of beer. Beau' s first brewed Night•Märzen in 2008 to welcome harvest time in Ontario, Their small gathering to celebrate the harvest that year has grown into their annual Beau’s Oktoberfest. Night•Märzen is the only beer on our list that can be found in bottles at the LCBO along with availability at the brewery.
“‘Wiches Brew”, is a Black IPA (a dark, flavourful hoppy beer reminiscent of a stout or porter), made with ingredients that include fresh hops from a farm in nearby Perth and from brewery owner John vanDyk’s own backyard. It will be available at a food pairing event on October 31, that will include a special menu from ‘Wiches Cauldron, the popular food truck on Carp Road
In Broadhead’s case – it’s not the hops or barley that’s the harvest ingredient in this beer but apples!
Josh Laroche, brewer at Broadhead, says they'll be doing something different this year – an Apple Wheat. It will use real apple cider freshly pressed from Pieter’s Appleyard, out near Belleville. It will also have a slight cinnamon spicing. Should be ready to serve in 2-3 weeks.
According to Mario Bourgeois, Co-owner and Brewmaster, their harvest ale is a pretty special one!
"We obtained hops from what was harvested back in 1920 in Fournier ON! That hop is said to be a bohemian likely Saaz. Up to 1958 they employed well over 2000 people to help during the harvesting season. A retired belgian farmer kept some plants and multiplied them over the years. We were lucky to get 10lbs of dried hops and we are likely the first one to brew again with this hop which once was very popular. Our supplier got an interview with an 87 year old man who was the third generation to harvest this hop, he was employing over 600 people on his farm only… yep all in Fournier ON!"
Most of these harvest beers will only be available at their respective breweries in growlers for a short period of time, so be sure to keep up to date with our twitter and Facebook so that you don't miss your chance to try them!
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